Raymond Buckland (1934-2017) was an authority on many magical and spiritual disciplines on which subjects he wrote as many books of which The Complete Book of Witchcraft is the most well-known as it is often recognized as the book that drew many into the Pagan World. However, the list of his publications on magic and related subjects is endless and his books played an important role in the development and acceptance of the unseen.
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Who was Cagliostro and why does this deck carry his name?
Alessandro Cagliostro, born in 1743 as Giuseppe Balsamo in Palermo (Sicily) was an adventurer much involved with the occult as it was practiced in the second half of the 18th century. Ultimately it cost him his life. He was sentenced to death in Rome in 1791 because he tried to establish a masonic lodge in the same city. The death sentence was changed by the pope into a life sentence and he finally died in the fortress of San Leo in 1795.
As to why his name is associated to these cards in not entirely clear, but the fact that the Italian artist Bruno Sigon was much inspired by Papus and Etteilla explains a lot.
This is quite a mysterious deck of cards since we could not find anything about the artist Jean Beauchard, whose name is often misspelled as ‘Bouchard’. According to the information on the box he is, or was (We don’t know if he is still alive.), a graphic designer, a painter and a writer. A jack of all hands. He is the creator of this beautiful set of cards that hold within them traditional symbolism and masonic symbolism.
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